For July 1, we heard from Rev. Paul Andrew Johnson about serving a Native American congregation as a white, gay, cisgender male pastor. He is, first and foremost, a child of God humbled by God's loving grace and forgiveness. He is honored to serve as pastor to the Lutheran Church of the Wilderness in the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans community in Bowler, Wisconsin. In addition to being a pastor, Paul also enjoys being an uncle, gardener, avid reader, and occasional crafter. He dreams of one day owning a tiny house with a huge garden for him and his German Shepherd, Bucky.
Paul Andrew Johnson graduated from Wartburg in 2015 and waited 2 years for a call. As an openly gay man, it was difficult to find a congregation that would be open. The Lutheran Church of the Wilderness had been waiting for years for a pastor. The Spirit intervened and connected this unlikely pairing. It has been an interesting journey of lifting one another up and working through issues of unique forms of shame surrounding identity.
How have we been church, with individuals and with communities? How are we being church? How are we called to be church with all people, with creation, and in an ever-changing world?
(In this week's recording, we left in some significant conversation toward the end of our usual time, and well beyond for those who stayed on, to model how the church can listen, share, learn, grow, and change.)